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What is the optimal configuration?


mermelmadness
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Question. I have a myriad of Corsair devices. What would be the optimal connection setup, both for PWM and RGB? My motherboard has two USB headers and 5 PWM fan headers (and 1 AIO pump header). I have:

 

13 x LL-series fans (only 7 installed right now)

1 x H150i AIO Pump

4 x LED strips

4 x RGB hubs

4 x Lighting Node Pros

1 x Commander Pro

 

What is the best way to get the most out of my devices? What should be plugged in to what?

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PWM Speed Control

H150i Pro controller (3 fans). Commander Pro 10 fans. You probably should not attempt to do 10 LL fans on the Commander directly. It is possible with 5x 2 way splitters, but not recommended. The better solution is to use a PWM repeated that will use 1 PWM header on the Commander but with it's own power supply (SATA) to offload the current. All fans on that header will run the same speed, but with 13 fans presumably you are doing multiple radiators where individual fan control is not necessary.

 

RGB Lighting

It's 6 fans per RGB controller and that 13th one is going to be a nuisance. You have multiple possible configurations, but the most efficient is going to be to take 2 RGB Lighting Hubs from the LL multi-packs and connect those to Commander Pro RGB channels 1 and 2. That's 12. The 13th would need to be joined in with a 3rd party RGB splitter and it and the other fan with be identical copies of each other. That means the lighting would go (1-2-3-4-4-5-6) and not 1-7. The only other way is add another RGB controller for the 1 fan and it will exist by itself on 1 channel as a single fan group. This is likely not helpful to the overall design.

 

The real trick in setting up the RGB is to remember the fans on the same channel will act as a group of 6 in the sequence they are connected. When you get into large cases with multiple groups, you need to be conscious of this when setting up.

 

RGB strips - Use one of the Lighting Node Pros. The 4 strips will be on one channel. This does leave a channel open for the 13th fan, if you connect a RGB hub in to power it. The Commander has a higher current threshold than the Lighting Node Pro, so the 12 RGB fans are better put on on it vs the relatively low 5v draw on the 4 RGB strips.

 

Each device needs a USB connection to communicate with the software. That's H150i Pro, Commander Pro, and Lighting Node Pro. You also will need a SATA connector for the H150i Pro, Commander, and each RGB Lighting Hub.

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This is exactly the type of response I was hoping for. I think that was the mistake I made. Two of my fans lost their LEDs. I had the hubs plugged in to the LNP and not CMDP. I'll make that switch when I get the replacements.

 

I'm not a fan of splitters for fans so I'll just fill up the 6 PWM slots on the CMDP and plug the other 4 into my mobo. I'll set those to auto in my BIOS.

 

I definitely have enough hubs, so Hub 1 w/ 6 fans and Hub 2 w/ 6 fans into the CMDP. Hub 3 with 1 fan (my lone 140) and strips into LNP. LNP and AIO into CMDP via USB, CMDP to mobo via USB. Leaves 1 USB header free if I want to get more strips and add a second LNP.

 

Or should I plug the AIO directly into the mobo and leave one header open on the CMDP?

 

Lastly, will a Lighting Node CORE work with LL fans, since that will combine a hub and LNP and will allow each fan to act individually instead of in a sequence?

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Two of my fans lost their LEDs. I had the hubs plugged in to the LNP and not CMDP.

 

Maybe test this out with the misbehaving fans in port 1 on any RGB controller. Given the choice between putting 12 fans on a Commander Pro vs 12 on the LNP, you go with the Commander but this should not cause any type of damage to the fans or other ill effects. For specific high lighting current fans like the QL, the second channel on the LNP is automatically disabled once you fill channel 1 with 4 or more fans. LL fans are similar enough to warrant a preference for the Commander when you are using high numbers of them.

 

 

 

I'm not a fan of splitters for fans so I'll just fill up the 6 PWM slots on the CMDP and plug the other 4 into my mobo. I'll set those to auto in my BIOS.

 

That will work too. A PWM hub is cheap way to extend the software control to a larger group at a later date. Since the power comes from the SATA and not the controller, it only uses the PWM signal from the Commander.

 

 

I definitely have enough hubs, so Hub 1 w/ 6 fans and Hub 2 w/ 6 fans into the CMDP. Hub 3 with 1 fan (my lone 140) and strips into LNP. LNP and AIO into CMDP via USB, CMDP to mobo via USB. Leaves 1 USB header free if I want to get more strips and add a second LNP.

 

Or should I plug the AIO directly into the mobo and leave one header open on the CMDP?

 

In theory it should not matter and the USB passthrough on the Commander are literal passthroughs. They do not confer any type of control over the device to the Commander. However, you must be on either a B550 or X570 motherboard and the USB passthroughs on the C-Pro has been problematic for it and the Platinum/XT coolers. This is a unique condition with those boards and it has been suggested the AMD undercut the power spec. Regardless, a lot users on those boards end using a powered USB hub to resolve dropped or intermittent connections. If you H150i is really a H150i XT, plug it in directly to the MB.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, will a Lighting Node CORE work with LL fans, since that will combine a hub and LNP and will allow each fan to act individually instead of in a sequence?

 

Yes, the Lighting Node Core (LNC) is a perfect substitute when you want to set up a fan only lighting channel. It is 1 channel for a max of 6 fans only. This could be used for lucky #13 or any other group of 1-6 fans. No current limitations here, but it can't do strips, Hydro X, or other 3rd party lighting devices. Just fans.

 

As each controller acts as its own group, you deliberately can use less than 6 and arrange them on multiple hubs to create groups as needed. For example, if I had a Lian Li O11 and had 9 fans in the usual 3 top/side/bottom, I could put 3 fans on 3 controllers to make them their own group. However, you can always do this from within the software as well. You can take a group of six and put one lighting effect on 1-2-3 and another on 4-5-6. You can put 6 different lighting effects on the 6 fans. Extreme possible combinations when layering effects.

 

The only decent reason to do something like the 3+3+3 would be if you were intending to spend a lot of time in "Hardware Mode" with CUE not running. In that state, the fans revert to your saved lighting effect. That is device/channel specific and you can't break up the group into smaller subsets. The other possibility would be for the two sequential lighting link patterns (visor or color wave). However, that is a tricky game to direct visor's path around the case exactly as you like. It usually requires a compromise on something else that effects all other functionality and lighting effects. I generally don't recommend pursuing that with high fan/device counts unless it is what you've been wanting all along.

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Maybe test this out with the misbehaving fans in port 1 on any RGB controller. Given the choice between putting 12 fans on a Commander Pro vs 12 on the LNP, you go with the Commander but this should not cause any type of damage to the fans or other ill effects. For specific high lighting current fans like the QL, the second channel on the LNP is automatically disabled once you fill channel 1 with 4 or more fans. LL fans are similar enough to warrant a preference for the Commander when you are using high numbers of them.

 

Tried that putting the bad fans on port 1. No difference. I'm going to utilize the CMDP for as many fans as I can.

 

That will work too. A PWM hub is cheap way to extend the software control to a larger group at a later date. Since the power comes from the SATA and not the controller, it only uses the PWM signal from the Commander.

 

I have one just sitting in a closet, so I may still use it. 10-port.

 

In theory it should not matter and the USB passthrough on the Commander are literal passthroughs. They do not confer any type of control over the device to the Commander. However, you must be on either a B550 or X570 motherboard and the USB passthroughs on the C-Pro has been problematic for it and the Platinum/XT coolers. This is a unique condition with those boards and it has been suggested the AMD undercut the power spec. Regardless, a lot users on those boards end using a powered USB hub to resolve dropped or intermittent connections. If you H150i is really a H150i XT, plug it in directly to the MB.

 

I have an Asus TUF Gaming X570 Pro, so I'm good there, but my AIO is the H150i Pro XT 360, so I'll plug it directly into the mobo and use the CMDP for any LNP or LNCs I use. Can a 2-to-1 or 4-to-1 internal USB hub work with the LNP/LNCs?

 

Yes, the Lighting Node Core (LNC) is a perfect substitute when you want to set up a fan only lighting channel. It is 1 channel for a max of 6 fans only. This could be used for lucky #13 or any other group of 1-6 fans. No current limitations here, but it can't do strips, Hydro X, or other 3rd party lighting devices. Just fans.

 

Cool. QLs are readily available, albeit a lot more costly, so I may swap out if I don't like the look of my current config. Don't really need double-sided RGB, but I might reconfigure my airflow.

 

As each controller acts as its own group, you deliberately can use less than 6 and arrange them on multiple hubs to create groups as needed. For example, if I had a Lian Li O11 and had 9 fans in the usual 3 top/side/bottom, I could put 3 fans on 3 controllers to make them their own group. However, you can always do this from within the software as well. You can take a group of six and put one lighting effect on 1-2-3 and another on 4-5-6. You can put 6 different lighting effects on the 6 fans. Extreme possible combinations when layering effects.

 

The only decent reason to do something like the 3+3+3 would be if you were intending to spend a lot of time in "Hardware Mode" with CUE not running. In that state, the fans revert to your saved lighting effect. That is device/channel specific and you can't break up the group into smaller subsets. The other possibility would be for the two sequential lighting link patterns (visor or color wave). However, that is a tricky game to direct visor's path around the case exactly as you like. It usually requires a compromise on something else that effects all other functionality and lighting effects. I generally don't recommend pursuing that with high fan/device counts unless it is what you've been wanting all along.

 

Got it.

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